Monday, 20 October 2008

Can we be sure about this Nurse?

Doctors are being given tips to help them diagnose when someone is dead. Although a patient coming back from the dead is rare, there is enough ambiguity in diagnosing death that doctors need guidance, experts have decided.

There have been instances when people exposed to extreme cold have been presumed dead but have later shown signs of life again when their core body temperature has risen again. Sedative drugs can also make a person appear to be dead when they are not. A spokesperson said "Diagnosing death in whatever circumstances is a sensitive issue, which comes at a very distressing time for everyone"

I think, excuse the pun, I could live with the chance of a mistake - after all, there are times when even I think I am dead. What I would insist upon though is some degree of certainty before plunging the scalpel into me to start a post-mortem. I have seen enough of those to know I would not want to be there when it happens to me.

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